Iceland has a 3-person committee that decides what you can name your kid

Weirdly enough, there are actually naming rules all over the world. At least 17 countries have laws in place restricting what parents name their children.


November 1, 2017

In Iceland, there’s a committee that greenlights and rejects parents’ options for what they would like to name their children. It’s called the Mannanafnanefnd, and there are only 3 people on it.

According to Business Insider, the committee’s got some serious power: recently, for instance, they vetoed a couple’s suggestion to name their child Cleopatra because “the letter C has no place in the Icelandic alphabet.”

Weirdly enough, there are actually naming rules all over the world

At least 17 countries have laws in place restricting what parents name their children.

In France, for example, a “name registrar” is allowed to reject any name he or she deems not to be in a child’s “best interest” — names like “Nutella” and “Prince-William.”

In Sweden, the name “Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116” (inexplicably pronounced “Albin”) was swiftly rejected, as it could potentially cause “discomfort” to its recipient.

The US has similar laws: California bans marks like the umlaut, and Texas disallows Arabic numerals (i.e., 1, 2, 3).

Apparently, these rules are for good measure

Numerous studies have shown that a child’s name can impact future success more than one would think.

Research conducted at New York University concluded that people with easier-to-pronounce names often become more successful in the workplace, and a separate 2009 study suggested that uncommon names may actually coincide with juvenile delinquency.

So, don’t go naming your child Blanket or E-Z-Cheeze.

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